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Riverside presents a plan to allow marijuana businesses in the city

By in Press Enterprise on January 10, 2018

By Ryan Hagen

A general framework for allowing limited marijuana businesses in Riverside was presented and got the public’s thumbs-up at a City Council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9, but it will be at least 45 days until the council gives its thoughts.

The city has a moratorium on most commercial marijuana land uses in effect until September, although state law allows anyone 21 or older to carry or give away up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six cannabis plants per home. Riverside also allows marijuana testing labs and up to eight additional plants for medical use.

The intent behind the moratorium was for city officials to study marijuana and come up with a policy that avoided any missteps. That analysis, 14 pages in written form, was presented Tuesday.

It’s broken into cannabis cultivation (indoor and outdoor), manufacturing, dispensaries, distribution and microbusinesses.

For instance, warehouse cultivation could be allowed at up to four locations in the city, each with up to 22,000 square feet of canopy space and required plans to manage odor, security, water and other issues. Those could be allowed in limited agricultural zones or just industrial zones.

And up to seven dispensaries could be allowed in commercial zones, with tight requirements on inventory control and a display inventory equivalent to no more than two days of sales to increase inventory accountability and limit odor.

Altogether, commercial cannabis use and proposed taxes and fees could generate between $1.4 million and $5.7 million in annual revenue for the city, said Rafael Guzman, the city’s community and economic development director.

Any taxes would have to be approved by city voters, with an August deadline for the City Council to put that on the November 2018 ballot. Voters are also expected to see a proposed countywide marijuana tax on the November ballot.

Residents and marijuana […]    

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